Paape found guilty of murdering Sheboygan Co. great-grandmother
SHEBOYGAN - A jury has found a 14-year-old boy guilty in a Sheboygan Co. courtroom in the case of the bludgeoning death of an elderly woman.
Nathan Paape was convicted Thursday afternoon. It took about an hour for the jury to determine its verdict.
Newsradio 620 WTMJ talk show host and former prosecutor Jeff Wagner explained that Paape is expected to face at least 20 years in prison as a juvenile offender.
However, by state law, he cannot serve life in prison.
TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Cody Holyoke says that Paape showed little emotion while learning his fate.
Testimony in Paape's trial ended Wednesday when Paape and his accused accomplice, Antonio Barbeau, each took the witness stand and gave widely varying accounts of how Barbeau's 78-year-old great-grandmother was killed.
Barbeau said on the stand that the attack was part of a scheme to get money.
"I looked to Nate and nodded, and shook my head as in, 'Yes or no?' He nodded, and I took the first swing," said Barbeau.
The Sheboygan Press said Paape claimed he only struck Barbara Olson twice with a hammer out of fear Barbeau would turn on him.
Paape said the robbery and murder were plotted and proposed by Barbeau just hours before they went to Olson's house.
He testified he thought Barbeau was joking about killing his great-grandmother.
Defense attorneys also tried to paint Paape as unwilling and scared his friend would hurt him.
"If I didn't do what Antonio says, he might try something on me," Paape said on the stand.
The jury didn't buy it. They believe Paape intended to kill the woman.
"I think the jury realized from the beginning that you can listen to someone tell you a story, and parts of that story may be true, but they're skewing it a little bit," said Sheboygan Co. District Attorney Joe DeCecco.
Stories between the boys didn't add up, like who gave the go-ahead to attack, and how many times they hit the woman.
Family members are torn by the tragedy.
"The whole situation is just very sad for everyone. It's sad for our family, it's sad for the boys, and for Nate's family, too," said Nikki Olson, Antonio Barbeau's mother.
Barbeau has already been convicted of first-degree intentional homicide and is awaiting sentencing. Wagner says he'll face at least 35 years in prison.